CASTROPETRE, or MONASTERORIS, a parish, in the barony of COOLESTOWN, KING'S county, and province of LEINSTER; containing, with the market and post-town of Edenderry and the village of Conabury, 4009 inhabitants. This parish derived its name, Monasteroris, from Sir John de Bermingham, Earl of Louth, who founded an abbey here, in 1325, for conventual Franciscans, which was called, from his Irish name, Monasterfeoris, or the monastery of Mac Feoris. In 1511, Cahir O'Connor, Lord of Offaley, was slain near this monastery by his own countrymen; and in 1521, the abbey was held for a considerable time against the Earl of Surrey, then lord-lieutenant, who afterwards took and kept possession of it. At the general suppression it was granted to Nicholas Herbert, who died in 1581, possessed of the abbey and townland of Monasteroris.

The parish is situated on the line of the Grand Canal, and at the source of the river Boyne, and is bounded on the northwest, north, and east by the bog of Allen, through which the navigation to Tullamore is cut. It contains 8401 acres, as applotted under the tithe act, exclusively of about 1000 acres of unreclaimed bog. There are some limestone quarries, and a vein of silver and lead ore, which has been worked twice, but relinquished on account of its poverty. The chief seats are Leitrim House, the residence of W. Purefoy Lumm, Esq.; Monasteroris House, of the Rev. W. G. Wakeley; and Lummville, the property of Mr. Lumm, but occupied by a respectable farmer.

The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Kildare, and in the patronage of the Crown; the rectory constitutes the corps of the prebend of Castropetre in the cathedral of Kildare. The tithes amount to £415. 7. 8 ½., of which £276. 18. 5 ½. is paid to the prebendary, and the remainder to the vicar. The church is at Edenderry, and is a plain but neat edifice, to the repairs of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently made a grant of £374. 2. 9. There is neither glebe-house nor glebe.

In the R. C. divisions this parish is the head of a union or district, also called Edenderry and Killane, comprising the parishes of Castropetre, Ballymacwilliam, Ballyburley, and Croghan, and parts of those of Ballynakill and Castle-Jordan; and containing three chapels, situated at Edenderry, Rhode, and Kranghan. There are also places of worship for the Society of Friends and Primitive Methodists. Here are two schools, aided by subscriptions from the rector, the Marchioness of Downshire, and Mrs. Murray, in which are 30 boys and 47 girls; and about 100 boys and 60 girls are taught in five private schools. A few remains of the abbey of Monasteroris still exist; and at Ballykillinfort, in the neighbourhood, is a celebrated rath, with a vault in the centre in which were found, some years since, several relics, and some ancient coins, in high preservation. It was defended by strong ramparts, and was very difficult of access. There is a chalybeate spring in the parish.—See EDENDERRY.

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